In an interview conducted by Jonathan Swan of Axios and broadcast on HBO (which I do not have a subscription to), Trump tried once again to lie and bluff away his poor handling of the pandemic crisis but ended up looking foolish yet again.
Claiming that the pandemic was unique, Trump said: “This has never happened before. Nineteen seventeen, but it was totally different, it was a flu in that case. If you watch the fake news on television, they don’t even talk about it, but there are 188 other countries right now that are suffering. Some, proportionately, far greater than we are.”
Swan pressed the president on which countries were doing worse. Trump brandished several pieces of paper with graphs and charts on them that he referred to as he attempted to suggest the US figures compared well internationally.
“Right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world. Lower than Europe.”
“In what?” asks Swan. As it becomes apparent that Trump is talking about the number of deaths as a proportion of cases, Swan says said: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than Germany, South Korea.”
Trump then says: “You can’t do that.”
It is just pathetic and even worse when you watch him.
.@jonathanvswan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39
— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
But there’s more.
In another section of the interview, Trump repeats his false assertion that the reason the US has a significantly higher number of cases is because it tests more than anyone else, saying: “You know, there are those that say you can test too much. You do know that.”
Asked who says that, Trump replies: “Oh, just read the manuals. Read the books.”
Trump also appears, without evidence, to assert that children are receiving positive Covid-19 test results for having a runny nose – which is not generally listed among the symptoms of coronavirus, which include a high temperature and a new continuous cough.
Trump was also asked about his previous baseless assertion that due to mail-in voting, the forthcoming US election would be “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”.
In the interview, Trump says: “So we have a new phenomena [sic], it’s called mail-in voting.” Swan then clarifies that mail-in voting has existed since the US civil war.
You can watch the full 37-minute interview here to see Trump’s idiocy in all its glory where he blathers on, throwing out all manner of false information and boasting.
There are of course the inevitable fact checks of Trump’s statements that, as usual, found that he had made many misleading and outright false statements.
What I found amusing was that during a different press conference, Trump mispronounced the name of one of the US’s most famous national parks.
Video of the Yosemite mispronunciation pic.twitter.com/96OG66PqRK
— Anthony Adragna (@AnthonyAdragna) August 4, 2020
That is the kind of mistake someone who has never heard the word spoken might make. But surely Trump can’t fall into that category? He made the same error twice, meaning it wasn’t just a slip of the tongue. All I can think is that when he is reading from a script that someone else has written and handed to him, he is like a small child who is a poor reader and has not done their homework and is asked to read an unfamiliar text aloud in class, concentrating on just getting the words out in the correct sequence without even thinking about what he is reading. That would explain why whenever he is making a formal statement, he adopts that odd stilted cadence, like he is heavily sedated.